One of the most important vital signs of a person’s health is their blood pressure. Blood pressure which ranges too high or too low can be a sign of many serious health problems including strokes and heart disease. Blood pressure can change due to a number of different factors. In addition to health issues, exercise, drinking coffee or even needing to use the restroom can all alter blood pressure.
Due to the varying rates of blood pressure, keeping abreast of it when it’s abnormal helps. The best way to do this is use a blood pressure monitor at home. These devices deliver quick and accurate blood pressure readings. Getting dangerous readings at home can help people know when they need to contact their physicians. There are a variety of great blood pressure monitors that can be chosen for your use at home.
How to Read Blood Pressure
Blood pressure readings are actually a combination of two readings. The first is the blood pressure within a person’s arteries while the heart is pumping. This is called systolic blood pressure. The second is the pressure while the heart is resting in between beats. This is known as the diastolic blood pressure.
The actual units that blood pressure is measured in is mm HG which stands for millimeters of mercury. In casual use, the units are left off and people just refer to the numbers given. Normal levels are considered to be 120/80 mm Hg. High blood pressure will affect both the systolic and diastolic numbers. Reaching 140/90 consistently is considered high blood pressure, also known as hypertension.
Monitoring Blood Pressure At Home
In many cases, people who suffer from dangerously high blood pressure levels will be asked to monitor their blood pressure at home. The same can be said of some people who have conditions which cause their blood pressure to be much lower than it should be. The good news is that it’s now possible. Traditional cuffs gave a readout and required a doctor to time the process in their head to determine blood pressure. Those cuffs worked, but were not ideal for home testing.
Automatic cuffs are a much better option for the home and have become the norm in most doctor’s offices as well. These cuffs will attach around the upper arm. They will inflate the cuff tightly, then release air and take readings of the blood pressure. From there, you can easily check at home.
There’s plenty of reasons to check your blood pressure at home. Doctors have said that the most accurate reasons tend to come at home. Stress can raise blood pressure. Visiting the doctor, dentist or other location where you need to get your blood pressure tested is usually a somewhat stressful experience.
Popular Blood Pressure Monitors
Using your blood pressure monitor at home can let you track your blood pressure during the day and help determine what life effects might be altering it. Blood pressure monitors aren’t too expensive compared to a lot of other medical equipment. Many are also covered by health insurance if they are necessary. Some of the best monitors include:
- LifeSource Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor - This monitor gives good readings and has a larger cuff for people with larger bicep areas of the arm.
- A&D Medical Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor - This blood pressure monitor is a rather basic no frills type. It’s reliable and gives error messages if a cuff isn’t fit correctly. It can also track up to 4 different people and profiles.
- Omron Wireless Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor - This model can take care of two users while providing wireless versatility. It can also connect to smartphones via bluetooth and upload results to the Omron app for easy tracking.
- Care Touch Digital Blood Pressure Monitor Cuff - This model is relatively quick and can produce results in under a minute. In addition to checking blood pressure, it will note if the heartbeat seems irregular so that you can pass the information to your doctor.